Peak District Caving News March 2004
Cavers Assisted from J.H. via Speedwell Cavern.
On Sunday the 14th a party of two entered J.H. with the intention of making the through trip to Peak Cavern. Unfortunately for everyone involved, neither of the pair had any real knowledge of the system. A certain lack of research combined with a misguided attempt at navigating their way through the cave resulted in an unplanned trip up the first section of Whirlpool via Troubled Waters to the Assault Course and a Grand Day Out.
The party, realising they were lost, retraced their steps and were eventually found half way up the J.H. ascent at The Workshop. Due to their 'state' they were guided out of the system via the Speedwell Level and Show Cave.
The top of Leviathan in J.H. This point is 110m below the entrance.
Photo: Paul Deakin 1994.zoom_in
This was the second rescue from the system this year. In both cases parties have found themselves in situations beyond their capabilities. The system is complex and deep, J.H. is almost twice the depth of Gaping Gill and Titan blows it right out of the water. Navigation is easy enough if you know the system but if you don't, there's more than 17km of passage to get lost in. Had the party on Sunday not made it back to J.H. the section of cave that they had inadvertantly wandered in to would have been one of the last sections of cave to be searched. Anyone undertaking trips into or through the system should at least be familiar with the majority of their planned route. Even though the respective landowners and show cave owners are caver friendly the inconvenience of middle-of-the-night rescues doesn't do much for relations. Ed.